TuSimple Explores Adding Partners in Asia-Pacific Businesses

TuSimple  truck
Business Wire via AP

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Autonomous driving technology company TuSimple Holdings Inc. announced it intends to explore certain transactions that could add partners at a subsidiary level for its Asia-Pacific-focused businesses.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the San Diego-based company said the exploratory process does not currently include any plans for a divestiture or a similar transaction for any of its businesses or subsidiaries.

“TuSimple has a leading autonomous trucking technology and go-to-market position in China with opportunities to expand to other Asia-Pacific markets,” Xiaodi Hou, co-founder and CEO at TuSimple, said in the filing. “We believe this is the right time to explore opportunities to add high-quality partners at a subsidiary level and highlight the value of our Asia-Pacific-focused businesses.”

Earlier in March, TuSimple announced Hou succeeded Cheng Lu as CEO and Mo Chen as company chairman.

In February, TuSimple Holdings Inc. reached an agreement with U.S. authorities to resolve security concerns around its self-driving truck operations and the company’s ties with China, Bloomberg News reported.

The agreement includes giving some oversight to the U.S. government related to the technology behind TuSimple’s self-driving truck operations, the company announced Feb. 22. Two Chinese board members will also step down after their terms end later this year.

The company will “limit access to certain data and adopt a technology control plan,” according to an SEC filing. The measures involve restricting some information, including source code and algorithms for its autonomous trucking operations, from the company’s China division, Jim Mullen, the company’s chief administrative and legal officer, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

TuSimple Chief Financial Officer Pat Dillon said in January the company has sent its trucks down more than 5.5 million cumulative miles of real roads as it tests its autonomous driving technology.

In late December, TuSimple made an 80-mile, nighttime run in Arizona with a Class 8 and trailer. No driver was in the truck, which was carrying water ballast to simulate freight.

Now, TuSimple is firmly in the “driver-out era,” Dillon said.


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The driver-out truck successfully navigated surface streets, traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, emergency lane vehicles and highway lane changes in open traffic while interacting with other motorists, according to TuSimple.

Dillon said TuSimple, founded in 2015, has been making progress on its truck production program with Traton Group subsidiary Navistar, with production slated for 2024.

Also in January, Bloomberg reported TuSimple was in talks to join forces with Beiqi Foton Motor Co., one of China’s premier commercial vehicle manufacturers, to create heavy-duty trucks aimed at making long-distance logistics more efficient.

Nasdaq-listed TuSimple’s autonomous driving software will be fitted in trucks made by Beiqi Foton under plans being discussed between the companies, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, asking not to be identified because the details are private. Foton, a unit of state-owned BAIC Motor Corp., makes trucks and buses and has a venture with Daimler AG for heavy-duty tractors.

Representatives from TuSimple and Foton Motor declined to comment at the time.

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